What is a Real Estate Investor? [What Does an Investor Do?]

Published on September 1, 2023

What is a Real Estate Investor?

What is a Real Estate Investor?

Behind every real estate transaction is a real estate investor strategizing and analyzing deal potentials to ensure real estate profits, that’s for sure. If you’re considering being a real estate investor, too, you found the right blog! 

In this comprehensive article, we'll discuss the role of real estate investors by exploring their day-to-day operations and strategies and the dynamic nature of property investments. Join us and be inspired to enter the real estate industry through investing.

What is a Real Estate Investor?

What is a Real Estate Investor?

A real estate investor is an individual or entity that invests capital into real estate properties with the intention of generating a return on that investment. This return can come in various forms, including rental income, appreciation of the property's value, or benefits from tax incentives. 

The core objective of real estate investing is to make money either through cash flow, the future resale of the property, or both.

The decision to invest in real estate usually involves a careful analysis of the market, the property's potential for growth, and the associated risks. Investors consider factors like location, property condition, market trends, and potential for rental income. 

The investing strategy may vary, with some investors choosing to buy properties in up-and-coming areas, anticipating future growth, while others may focus on well-established areas with steady rental yields.

Furthermore, real estate investing is not limited to industrial real estate or residential properties. It encompasses a broad range of property types, including commercial spaces, industrial properties, and land.

Common Types of Real Estate Investors

Each type of investor plays a distinct role in the real estate market, and each comes with its own set of risks, rewards, strategies, and skill sets. To understand which path is for you, here are the three common types of investors in real estate.

House Flippers

House flippers are real estate investors who purchase properties with the primary intention of renovating and selling them at a profit in a relatively short time frame. 

Their success is based on their ability to identify undervalued properties, often those in need of repair or updates, purchase them at a low cost, and renovate them efficiently. 

Once the improvements are completed, the property is put back on the market at a higher price that reflects its new condition and value. 


Landlords are individuals or entities that purchase property with the intention of renting it out to tenants. The primary goal for landlords is to generate consistent rental income over the long term.  These include investing in rental real estate where properties are often kept by the investor's business or company.

Many landlords will hold onto properties for several years, benefiting from both the monthly rental income and the potential appreciation of the property's value. 

The success of a landlord depends on several factors, including property location, property management skills, tenant selection, and understanding of landlord-tenant laws. 


Wholesalers operate in a unique niche in real estate. Instead of purchasing a property to renovate or rent out, wholesalers aim to secure a property under contract at a low price and then immediately sell that contract to another investor at a higher price. 

The profit is made from the difference between the price at which the wholesaler secures the contract and the price they sell it for to the other investor. This method allows wholesalers to operate without ever actually owning the property or investing significant capital into renovations.

Passive vs. Active Real Estate Investors

Passive vs. Active Real Estate Investors

Passive real estate investors typically seek opportunities that require minimal day-to-day involvement or decision-making once the initial investment is made. 

Their primary goal is to generate income or realize capital appreciation passively without having to engage deeply in the operational aspects of the property. 

Many passive investors choose real estate investment trusts (REIT), limited partnerships, or real estate crowdfunding to invest their money for passive income.

In contrast, active real estate investors take a direct role in their investments, often involving daily decisions and management responsibilities. These investors are hands-on, deeply involved in the purchase, management, and potentially the sale of properties. 

House flippers, landlords, and wholesalers of residential real estate and commercial real estate, as mentioned previously, are examples of active investors. They're engaged in the entire lifecycle of their investment, from property acquisition, financing, and renovation to tenant management and property maintenance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Real Estate Investor (Benef

While real estate investing offers substantial benefits, it also comes with challenges that require careful consideration and ongoing effort. Let's delve into the strengths and weaknesses of becoming a real estate investor in this section.


Steady Cash Flow

One of the many benefits of investing in real estate, especially for rental properties, is the prospect of steady cash flow. Many investors purchases property to build wealth. If a property is well-maintained, located in a good area, and has reliable tenants, it can provide a consistent stream of income for the investor. 

Tax Benefits

Real estate investors can take advantage of various tax incentives. These might include deductions for mortgage interest rate or mortgage loans in general, property taxes, operating expenses, depreciation, and more. In some cases, there are also tax breaks or deferments available.

Direct Control of Investment

Unlike some other forms of investment, real estate allows investors to have a physical asset that they can directly influence. 

Whether it's making improvements to increase property value, deciding on rental prices, or choosing when to buy or sell, investors have hands-on control over many aspects of their investment.

Portfolio Diversification

Real estate can be a great way to diversify an investment portfolio and leverage them as time comes. Because property values and rental income don't always move in tandem with the economy, having real estate can provide an alternative against more risky investments.


Securing Reputable Financing Can Be Difficult

Obtaining loans or other financing for any real estate investing strategy isn't always straightforward. Lenders may have stringent requirements, including higher down payments, strong credit scores, or proof of income. 

Cash Flow Issues

While buying and selling as well as rental properties can provide steady cash flow, there can also be interruptions. Vacancies, unexpected repairs, or problematic tenants can disrupt the expected income or salary. If an investor relies heavily on this income, such disruptions can cause financial strain.

You Have to Continuously Learn

The real estate market is dynamic, with ever-changing regulations, market conditions, and emerging trends. To remain successful, investors need to stay informed and continuously educate themselves. Whether you are investing in REITs or you buy and sell office buildings and residential properties, this is critical to your success in several ways.

This can be time-consuming and, at times, overwhelming, especially for those not fully committed to the industry.

Steps to Become a Real Estate Investor

Becoming a real estate investor is definitely not an easy process, but unless you start, you won’t see yourself succeed. Here are the general; steps to becoming a real estate investor!

Step 1: Study Real Estate Investing  

Before diving into the world of real estate, it's crucial to educate oneself about the basics. This can involve reading books, taking online courses, attending seminars, or even enrolling in formal real estate programs that can teach you about real estate development, real estate terms, technological advancements you can use, etc. You can also join communities like BiggerPockets to understand more about active and passive investing, what crowdfunding refers to, what amenity and utility increase home value, and many more.

By doing so, one gains foundational knowledge about property valuations, market trends, and investment principles, setting a solid base for future endeavors.

Step 2: Research About the Best Real Estate Investment Strategies

There are various strategies within real estate investing, such as flipping houses, rental properties, wholesaling, and more. Each strategy has its own set of risks and rewards. 

By researching and understanding these strategies, investors can decide which one aligns best with their financial and investment goals, risk tolerance, and involvement level.

Step 3: Determine Target Locations  

Location is a critical factor in real estate. Prospective investors should research and identify areas with growth potential, stable rental markets, or other factors that align with their investment strategy. 

This could mean focusing on emerging neighborhoods, cities with economic growth, or areas with high rental demand.

Step 4: Create a Real Estate Business Plan  

A well-laid-out business plan acts as a roadmap for the investment journey. It should outline one's goals, budget, timeline, investment strategy, and exit plan. Having a clear business plan not only gives direction but can also be valuable when seeking financing or partners.

Step 5: Secure Financing 

Before making an investment, one needs to have their finances in order. This can involve saving up for a down payment, researching loan options, or seeking out potential partners or investors. Choose whether you're into real estate partnership to split funds, seller financing, conventional mortgages, etc.

Step 6: Start Investing

With knowledge, strategy, and financing in place, it's time to take action and use real estate for profit. This means finding properties, making offers, and closing deals whatever type of investment you choose to start on.Investors should be diligent in assessing each opportunity, conducting thorough property evaluations, and ensuring that the investment aligns with their established plan.

Step 7: Sell the Property or Find a Tenant  

Depending on the investment strategy chosen, once the property is ready, it's time either to sell it for a profit or rent it out. 

If renting, it's essential to screen tenants thoroughly, draft solid lease agreements, and ensure the property is well-maintained through a property manager. If selling, effective marketing and understanding the market conditions are key to maximizing returns. You may choose to sell with the help of a real estate agent or broker, too.

Step 8: Calculate Costs to Plan Better  

After buying a property completing an investment project, it's important to review and analyze all costs and return on investment so you can budget more effectively and be better prepared for future investment properties. This will also help you mitigate risks in the long run.

Key Takeaways: What is a Real Estate Investor?

As we've discussed in this blog, real estate investors play a crucial role in shaping the property landscape. Their role definitely goes beyond mere property acquisition and if you want to become one, you have to research and prepare. 

Now that you already understand the role of real estate investors and how to become one, you may now start gathering leads. Lucky for you, Property Leads offer the most motivated seller leads for real estate investing! All our leads are sold exclusively so they are perfect for a beginner or real estate entrepreneur.

Fill out our form below to start getting motivated seller leads from us!

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